Destination: 2050

No, this is not a post of me yearning to be 70 years old in 2050 but the mere postcode of where the ELG family live; otherwise known as Camperdown. When asked the question of where I live and I say Camperdown, the usual response is “ohhh near RPA hospital…” or “oh, near Sydney Uni..?” Both replies are correct but since residing in the 2050 area for the last 14 months, I now know it is much more than the suburb of both a major hospital and university. Situated in the thriving inner west of Sydney, surrounded by Annandale and Leichhardt on one end, Glebe as you stretch closer to the city and Newtown as you head past the hospital to colourful King Street, it is a suburb that I have come to love with its fabulous places to eat and other haunts to go! So, I feel it necessary to update you on the top 5 hotspots of postcode 2050:

1. Franks 

When Mr ELG and I moved into Camperdown, a friend of mine said that Franks was the local place to go to for pizza. A cheap and cheerful number and she recalled that the price of a large pizza was around the $12 mark. She was not wrong there. A family size pizza is $15. In an old fire station house on Parramatta Road, Franks serves up pizza and pasta to go and I almost always order “Franks Special”. Most nights, people pack the place from 6pm and the weekend lunch slots are equally as busy with family lunches packing the tables. Service is quick and the pizza is hot; a terrific combination most can’t go past and I certainly don’t!

2. Deus ex Machina

Part motorbike shop, part restaurant; this phrase from their site sums them up beautifully “Motorcyles for the postmodern world – silk purses out of sows’ ears.” This place also situated on Parramatta Road but closer to the city screams blood, sweat and tears. Oh and great food thrown in for good measure! Deus is iconic in Camperdown and you will likely find Mr ELG, BIT (baby in tow) and I there on a weekend for their spot-on breakfasts. They do a mean eggs hollandaise with Tasmanian salmon, baby spinach and asparagus. And when I wake with a sweet tooth to satisfy, I order the strawberry and lemon pancakes. Out the back there is the shop selling motorbikes (classics and new), clothes, leather jackets and accessories and if your bike needs a tune-up, there’s also a workshop attached. So don your leathers and get to Deus for a bit of grit, noise and bloody good coffee.

3. Butch

Discovering this place with BIT en route to Mothers group one morning, I bought a quick coffee and returned hours later to feast upon one of their homemade pies after spotting it earlier on. If you have read past posts, you will know about my love of pies and this one went above and beyond. Butch is a bit of a hole in the wall, at the bottom of a terrace, on a narrow street in Camperdown and when the winter chill is about, their cafe is one of the only locals that have a cosy fire burning to warm the hands while their food warms your soul.

4. Chef and the Cook

Ever the foodie on the hunt for the right tools to master my trade, this place hits the mark in every regard. I’m sure many a cook would have been in their kitchens at one point wishing for a utensil that somehow was not in their drawer or repertoire whether it be kitchen string to tie a chicken’s legs together before a roast, a piping bag to ice a cupcake, a peeler that leaves your fingers in tact afterwards or a balloon whisk to get enough air through egg whites. I have always thought to buy kitchen string instead of using the string Mr ELG bought at bunnings that’s blue and dreading a Bridget Jones blue soup kitchen moment and last week I finally purchased some along with some flat scales to accurately measure my ingredients. Just recently Chef and the Cook have also started stocking food for sale and have a wonderful Herbies spice selection amongst other jams, couverture chocolate, coloured sea salt and oils galore. So when you can’t be asked to fight the crowds at Peters of Kensington and need the perfect wooden spoon, head to Chef and the Cook for a great selection of tools and industry advice.

5. Camperdown Cellars

At the end of my street is a wonderful thing; Camperdown Cellars. Now there are bottle shops and then there are bottle shops. Not pretentious with their exhausting range of alcohol, top shelf reds and whites, aged whiskys, Penfold Grange and the best cider ever – I think the owners there must look at me with BIT and think; well frankly I can only imagine what they think! OK let’s get back to talking about the cider. One word; Rekorderlig. Mr ELG first tried this drop at a quaint Balmain pub and came home raving about it as if it was the best thing since sliced bread and well I agree with him as it most certainly is! Refined, crisp and clean; the taste of this cider is heavenly and at $8 a bottle is somewhat on the pricier end but well worth it. Served over ice on any afternoon; it is just a little bit of heaven. With flavours in pear, apple, strawberry-lime and a winter version, I recommend heading to the cellars just for this or to satisfy my other two cravings…there is always Pastabilities and tubs of Ben & Jerry’s in their freezers too. So you now know where to find me at 5pm too on any given day when I have no idea what to cook for dinner and I don’t want to go to Coles.

Now, I know I said top 5 but the new mum in me can’t help but add one more and rave about the bright red and green toystore at the end of my street (opposite the Cellars and across the road from Chef and the Cook)  – Kidstuff. A treasure trove of toys for kids of all ages; it stocks all the big brands as well as the obscure and unique. Whether your child is at rattle stage, building blocks, painting, gaming or just plain playing, you never walk out of this store empty handed. And one of the best things is that they do free wrapping with rainbow ribbons.

So type 2050 into your GPS or catch a bus down Parramatta Road and come visit, come play and always go where your heart desires.

Franks @ 137 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Deus ex Machina @ 102-104 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Butch @ 130 Church Street, Camperdown NSW 2050

Chef and the Cook @ 28-32 Mallett Street, Camperdown NSW 2050

Camperdown Cellars @ 140 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Kidstuff @ 101 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

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Clipper Cafe – a bloody brilliant breakfast spot!

Date: Saturday 26 March, 2011. Suburb: Glebe. Destination: Clipper Cafe.

Last Saturday was in one word frenetic. NSW was going to the polls and voting for Barry, Glebe’s weekly Saturday markets were on and there were people everywhere, the skies kept threatening to open up and pour down and Mr ELG and I were starving! Clipper Cafe has been on the must-go list for a while but I had never quite got there until last weekend. Located at the Parramatta Road end of Glebe Point Road, it is masked by kitsch green and white awnings and peering in through the large glass windows, it looks extremely busy with people out and about already sipping their flat whites and OJs and Saturday catch-ups have long commenced. Our group of 4 are quickly seated at the end of a share bench table and within the blink of an eye, menus are in front of us and first round of coffee orders have been taken. I get the sense there’s no mucking around here and service is top of mind. Taking a first glance at the menu, it has all the Saturday-session essentials ~ eggs, avocado, sausages, bacon, smoked salmon, French toast. Personally I order the bircher muesli with pistachio, honey and poached pears. Friends choose eggs in a variety of ways; poached and baked with an assortment of tasty accompaniments. Our order is taken by someone with a great memory and no notepad and the scene is set to simply sit back, relax and get on with the goss.

As everyone is chattering away, I look around at the character of Clipper and clearly see that it has loads of that and much more. Life-size push bikes hang on the wall next to mini penny-farthings, a selection of travel books on Sicily and Guatemala entice the wandering mind and the place has a buzz, an electricity that meets the frenetic nature of outside. A sip of the coffee is satisfying; creamy and crisp in taste and feeling like we have not waited at all, breakfast is already upon us and waiting to be devoured. Each of us have food envy looking at each other’s orders. Everything is still grand.

The bircher has a subtle sweet taste and has been efficiently soaked. The pears are soft and instantly melt in the mouth. The pistachios are crunchy and add the texture required to confirm happiness in my bowl. Mary has the baked eggs which arrive in a mini red Le Creuset dish. Oozing with sauce and sausages and partnered with crunchy buttered bread, all I hear from then on is silence and satisfied slurping with a smile. Mr ELG ordered the smoked salmon and poached eggs, with capers on toast and moments later, it has also been inhaled. Claire has eggs and bacon – a Saturday standard turned superior. As I said; a bloody brilliant breakfast.

Topping it off, the bathroom was clean – always an extra tick in my box and as I wander back to my seat I notice a Ben and Jerry’s fridge full of tubs and I know I have found a great place I will go to again. The food has exceeded expectations, the coffee was ordered more than once just because it was that good, the wait-staff were polite, smiley and on the ball and while there was a sense of urgency, there was no rush and Saturday started as it’s supposed to.

Clipper Cafe @ 16 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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